5 Things DirecTV Does Not Want you to Know

Written by Master Blaster

5. Protection Plan

When your DirecTV equipment breaks down, you will have to pay about $80 for a service call, unless you shell out $5.99 per month for the protection plan. Instead you could wait until you have a problem, call to add the protection plan to your account (don’t mention you have a current problem), call back the next day to schedule a $5.99 service call.

4. Upgrades

If you have fulfilled your contract with DirecTV, call them every six months and ask for a free upgrade. You can get additional rooms, new equipment, HD receivers, and DVR receivers.

3. Retention

Ahhhh, retention the magical customer service department that can get almost anything done. The retention departments job is to keep you from canceling your account. Retention representatives get bonuses if they can get you to stick with DirecTV, so they are always willing to help.

The key is to pretend you are going to cancel your account. I have had to evoke the magic retention word a few times when dealing with regular customer service, and every time my problem was immediately fixed and a credit added to my bill. Just tell the regular customer service rep. that you have had enough and want to cancel your account. Once they transfer you, tell the retention agent what is going on, and they will do whatever they can to keep you. If they do call your bluff, just say you have to sleep on it and you will call back tomorrow to cancel.

2. Phone Lines

DirecTV receivers can not send pay-per-view billing information back to DirecTV unless the receiver is connected to a phone line. That means if you disconnect your receiver from the phone line, and order pay-per-view with the remote you will not be billed. Some receivers have safeguards to prevent or limit this.

1. Receivers are Untraceable

As long as you disconnect your receivers from a phone line, DirecTV has no idea where that receiver is geographically. That means one receiver could be at your house, one at Grandmas house across town, one at your best friends house, and one in your R.V. You would have to be handy enough to install a few satellite dishes that you bought on Ebay, and run some coax cable.

25 thoughts on “5 Things DirecTV Does Not Want you to Know

  1. rahlquist

    My wife just finished a stint at DirecTV as a CSR. A few comments.

    5. Technically PP is supposed to be on your account 30 days before you can get a service call. If you cancel too quickly you will get smacked with additional charges.

    4. True, never take the first offer, haggle.

    3. Use caution and be polite it will get you farther. Even regular CSR can give you some good stuff. If you are to arrogant about quitting they will send you recovery kits and close the account. Also keep in mind your value as a customer is directly proportional to the amount of service you pay for and if you pay late forget about asking for freebies….

    2. The access card will limit the number of purchases. Once the card is full, it wont let you order them from the remote. Hook the receiver to a phone line and you will get billed for those on the card. When your term with DirecTV is up you are required to send back your receivers With the access cards or DirecTV can charge you for the receivers ( http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=P500014 ) up to $470 for each receiver. If you don’t return the card they can charge you for up to the value of the receiver.

    1. Keep in mind that this is fraud and/or theft of service and could be punishable by law. Taking a receiver camping is all good but setting up another residence with your account is a no no.

  2. Luis

    Dude this is awesome, I have to get their service because I moved to a place where DirecTV is all you can have. This tip it makes me less bitter to transition…

  3. Chaz

    Umm… Actually DIRECTV has just dropped the price of a Service call to like $50.00 and it’s $0 if you sign up for their insurance plan. OH and there is a 30 day no claims period where even if you add the insurance plan you don’t get billed for the first month because you can’t claim to have a problem that is covered until you have had it a month.

    That 6 month ordeal doesn’t work it only works for customers who pay their bills on time and spend a lil cash with them every month. Also, depending on what time of year sometimes they don’t even have offers for free equipment.

    Your a Genius!

  4. Chaz

    Oh.. a few more comments..

    “2. Phone Lines

    DirecTV receivers can not send pay-per-view billing information back to DirecTV unless the receiver is connected to a phone line. That means if you disconnect your receiver from the phone line, and order pay-per-view with the remote you will not be billed. Some receivers have safeguards to prevent or limit this.”

    –> Keep in mind all receivers are now leased so even if you do get away with this for a while, you will eventually pay for these services. You must send back receivers if you disconnect your account or if you replace that receiver, so eventually the charges will show up and ya they are still valid.

    “1. Receivers are Untraceable

    As long as you disconnect your receivers from a phone line, DirecTV has no idea where that receiver is geographically. That means one receiver could be at your house, one at Grandmas house across town, one at your best friends house, and one in your R.V. You would have to be handy enough to install a few satellite dishes that you bought on Ebay, and run some coax cable.”

    –> This is called Fraud, and is a Federal law Violation with the FCC. Ignorance is no excuse for the law… Try this… You will be breaking laws which could land you behind bars….

  5. directv'r

    wow, chaz is a buzzkill. i don’t think the author was specifically asking people to do this, just that it can be done. case in point, i’ve never had to send back a directv receiver. however i have paid for the $80 service call. at least the service guy was super nice about it. he showed me how to adjust the dish myself for the next time we have a bad windstorm.

    directv rocks, now this just need to lower prices and allow me to pick channels.

  6. bell

    Whats with all this nonsense about being polite. DirecTV is a corporation with no feelings, so why should it matter if your rude or not? Just because people in the community sell out to some faceless corporation doesnt mean we have to be nice to them. In fact if we were meaner to these corporate soldiers these corporations would have a harder time finding people to sell out to them.

    Be rude, be mean, let them know you dont like having to go through the fraud in the first place.

    There are more ethical ways of making a living then slaving for a faceless corporation.

  7. Tom

    I ordered directv for the first time yesterday. Its worst than dealing with a car sales man. Lot of switch and bait activities. Lots of haggling. Cable seems much more straight forward. They seem very much like the carpet cleaners, lawyers and doctors and car salesman. Always haggling and trying to make as much money from you ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Kevin Spicer

    Directv will not let me get out of my contract, they installed dish on 6-20-2009 had problems with channels freezing up and tech has been out here 3 times and said he could not fix it. This was front hte first day. And there was suppose to be a supervisor come out and it got cancelled twice and they blamed that on me but it was through an automated system I was told that by a directv agent and they said you have every right to cancel. So my account has been cancelled and I have no service and they are still chargeing me $90.00 a month for two years with no service. I have reported this to attorney general and better business bureau and trying to get a good lawyer, I am a disabled person, so for someone to do that to me it is not right. I live in Greenville Ohio and I am doing everthing to get even with them.

  9. Davey

    I am a technical CSR at a DirecTV call center and yes, if you disconnect your reciever from a phone line and order through the remote you get a free movie as we can send info down from our satellites but not back up. However, if you order two movies without a phone line a anoying message of 733 or 736 will appear and will not go away until you call them. That message tells them you are a fraudulent person purposely stealing movies. If your phone line was connected but was just faulty fine but WE ARE NOT STUPID and this is hardly the case. Your account WILL be flagged for fraud and sent to law enforcement agencies. That FBI warning you see before every movie isn’t that for looks people. And at the end of your service you have to send back the access cards if the PPV was enabled on your account through remote. If we get the card back with a chunk load of unpaid movies you better have a good reason for it. Use common sense people you will not get away with stealing Hollywood movies through Directv and you will end up in jail.

    As for having receivers at different adresses, people tend to want to call in when their service doesn’t work telling on themselves that they have a reciever at a different adress getting themselves in trouble. Customers amuse me when they do that.

    1. Jake


      Is there any Way to FORCE the Receiver to Call back instantly? or a faster way other than the 7 days or 24 hours. Is there any 15 minute or less ways to do this?

  10. Davey

    Sorry to be a buzzkill as most people are not out trying to break the law but there are people out there who do and if you are one of them head the warning.

  11. Kevin

    Davey, thanks for the tips. Also, I now understand why I have so much trouble dealing with CSR techs @ DTV. Your obvious lack of understanding for all things spelling, punctuation and grammar tell me all I need to know. No wonder most techs can’t handle a simple call transfer let alone simple customer service.

    1. Danielle

      Agreed, I was direct tv customer, and promptly went to u-verse because of the outrageous prices, lack of help, constant freeze ups, adding shit when I didn’t order it, and being transferred constantly. I will highly encourage anyone from getting Direct TV after my experience and many others I know.

  12. titi

    hey there
    i am with directv since the 3 of oct. 09 dont wannt it anymore couse they have no local chanels for my aria what is lawton ok.
    so i try to cancel it but they telling me that i have to pay a fee from 480$…whatever…i think they sould me a bag but forget the most important part the LOCALS so it is NOT what it is and i think i have the right to cancel it.

    or not?
    thanks for feedbacks

  13. f

    you had a 30 day window to cancel. probably not anymore. i agree the local channels are not always as local as cable would be, but whatever, here all the local channels suck anyway. directv is a million times better than cable! they have always been good to me.

  14. J-man

    I’m not trying to scam anyone or get something for nothing. I have a simple question I’d like an answer to: Do you need a landline phone in order to receive Directv programming, including the additional sports programming? I don’t care that much about pay-per-view channels. But I get the mlb season package every year, and I want to cancel our landline phone, and go to cell phone usage only. Can I still get Directv and the baseball package with a landline number?

  15. jay mann

    When you can order ppv w/out a phoneline and thru your remote, and when it’s time to return your reciever, call prior indicating that you lost your card and they will give you a new one.

  16. Kiley

    I have had DIRECTV for about 8 months. They came out, installed and set everything up. As promised, it was done correctly, they set up my remote for my TV, and to my surprise, my first bill was $29.99. I’m not going to lie, I had little faith, I was sure they would charge me SOMETHING, an install fee, a start up fee, a pro-rated something, but no, it was just $29.99. The next month, since we did refer a friend, my bill was $19.99. Everything was great for about 6 months.

    Then our lease was up and we had to move. We moved about half a mile away. They explained that I would have to pay $50. I was fine with that. Our new landlord said we could put it anywhere, except in the shingles. So I had an installer come out and meet me so we could figure something out. He explained that he couldn’t mount it on the chimney, even though I had permission, it is against policy. I explained that the chimney was abandoned, there was no longer a fireplace, he said, no exceptions. So, I’ve seen satellite dishes on peoples detached garages, and I asked if we could put it on the detached garage. He said no. I asked why he could install a 3 foot post in the front yard and run the wires outside and into the house, but not from the garage to the house, he said he didn’t know but he couldn’t. So I said okay. They said they’d put my account on hold and one day when I move I could reinstate.

    Then the next call came. I called and said, you know what, lets just go ahead with the post in the front yard. He said he would be there between 12 and 4. I planned on getting of work at 11:50 and racing home. At 11:30 I got a phone call from my little sister who was at the house. She said “hey, he installed the satellite on the roof”.


    I get home. He has installed the dish on my roof. He has allowed my 17 year old sister to sign a contract saying it was okay. She said he never said the word roof, but said, I can install it “over there”. I’m freaking out, he’s waiting on a supervisor outside, then he comes in and says, wait, is she 18? I said, uh, no. He turned whiter than a ghost.

    There’s a lot of yelling and screaming and I’m getting tired of typing so I’m not even going to finish this.

    Here’s the thing. DIRECTV is amazing in that they’re cheap, there are no hidden fees (so far) and they offer great TV a lot cheaper than cable. Just keep in mind, there is little to no communication between who you talk to on the phone, and the local installers. They’re basically two different companies.

  17. Cali

    A year ago I ordered Directv… I ordered 3 receivers. One was for my basement that I was in the process of finishing.

    We hadn’t used the basement tv much, only when kids come visit. We just discovered that the basement tv wont’ work if my livingroom tv is on. The bedroom tv works fine, regardless. If livingroom is on, and you turn on the basement tv, I lose the living room. We pay for three receivers, not ripping anyone off… so, I’d like to know where I might look for/solve this problem. I’m out in the sticks and don’t want to pay $50 for something I can fix myself, if possible. Thanks for any suggestions.

    1. Danielle

      I had this problem too, and we had to rearrange the house so that we could use the living room, bedroom, and my roommate could all watch tv, but that didn’t stop it from messing up when we turned on the microwave. Direct tv, sucks.

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